Known to the press by just the initials G.E.D.M., an Uber driver has been official convicted for the first time in Argentina. In an abbreviated trial process initiated by the City’s Public Prosecution, yesterday the driver accepted a suspended sentence of two days of arrest plus a driving ban for two months.
This is not good news for the Uber lovers among us, as it represents the latest blow against the company in their on-going legal battle in Buenos Aires and undoubtedly exactly what the City’s Public Prosecution was looking for. The courts have already attempted to block digital platforms needed to access the app and made it illegal for Uber to charge via credit card.
“With this first conviction, the illegality of the conduct of Uber drivers is affirmed,” said prosecutor Martín Lapadú, following yesterday’s ruling.
The case, which has come about just after Uber’s first anniversary in Buenos Aires, transpired after the driver was stopped in his Renault Sandero during a routine traffic control on 22nd December. The cops discovered that he was working for Uber and it was revealed later that he had so far been paid AR $4,361 through the firm Payment SRL.
During the case, the driver was accused of having carried out the activity illegally, since he does not have a professional driver’s license, and of having used public space to profit without authorization. The sentence will be suspended for two years unless he commits another violation in the meantime, which includes using the Uber app again.